[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Scolopacidae | [latin] Calidris canutus | [UK] Red Knot | [FR] Bécasseau maubèche | [DE] Knutt | [ES] Correlimos Gordo | [IT] Pivanello maggiore | [NL] Kanoet

Kanoet determination

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Red Knot is a plump, medium-sized shorebird with a fairly short bill. In breeding plumage, its face and underparts are a rich chestnut red. Its upperparts are primarily dark, with some spersed rufous fringing. In winter plumage, the red Knot is plain gray above. Rump and lower back pale gray, blending with tail. Underparts dull white with some dark vertical streaking on upper breast that may extend to the flanks. In breeding plumage female has light-colored feathers amongst the belly feathers and less distinct eyeline. Sexes appear similar in winter. Female has slightly longer wings and bill.

Breeds in drier tundra areas, such as sparsely vegetated hillsides. Outside of breeding season, it is found primarily in intertidal, marine habitats, especially near coastal inlets, estuaries, and bays.

This bird has a circumpolar breeding distribution in tundra, and the most important populations are found in North America, Greenland and eastern Siberia.
Red Knot has widespread distribution. It breeds in the high Arctic of both the New World and the Old World, although its Old World breeding range is quite limited. One population breeds on islands north of eastern Siberia, and winters across Australasia. A second breeding population is found in a small area of north-central Siberia; this group winters along the coast of western and southern Africa. In North America, Red Knot can be found breeding in Greenland and northeastern Canada, and also in northwestern Alaska and the high Arctic islands of Nunavut. The Greenland/northeastern Canada breeders migrate over the Atlantic and winter in western Europe.
The birds visiting Europe belong to two distinct populations. Those of north-eastern Canada and Greenland are wintering along the coasts of north-western Europe (British Isles, Netherlands and France). They amount to about 340000 individuals and have definitely decreased since the 1970's. Those of Svalbard and Taymyr winter in tropical Africa, and visit Europe only as passage migrants. Their population is totalling about 500000 individuals, and seems more stable.

On its Arctic breeding grounds, it prefers high, barren, inland areas, often near a pond or stream. When first arriving in the Arctic, Red Knot eats a substantial amount of plant material; it then switches to a primary food supply of insects as they become more plentiful later in the season. Small invertebrates such as mollusks, marine worms, and crustaceans are major food sources in migration and winter. During spring migration along the Atlantic Coast of the U.S., the species relies heavily on the eggs of horseshoe crabs, which are deposited in the billions along sandy beaches. On the breeding grounds, Red Knot forages for insects mostly by sight, but when feeding on tidal mudflats, it forages mostly by touch, probing for marine invertebrates

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 1,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

On the breeding grounds, males perform a courtship display in which they fly in high circles above their territory, hover on quivering wings, and then glide through the air while giving mellow calls. They also display on the ground by holding their wings high above the body. Red Knot nests on the ground, creating a shallow, lined scrape on the tundra. A typical clutch contains three to four eggs, and is incubated by both sexes for about three weeks. The downy chicks leave the nest shortly after hatching, and are able to feed themselves. Both parents provide care immediately after hatching, but the female leaves the young before they are fully independent at about three weeks of age.

Long distance migrant, with relatively few stopover sites. Race islandica, from Canada and West Greenland, crosses Greenland icecap, North Atlantic, often Iceland (probably not used by birds from Greenland), to Northwest Europe; some move down SW Norway and Denmark, mainly juveniles, only in autumn; spring migration more synchronized, passing through Iceland and North Norway. Race canutus probably has 3 migration routes: birds from Yaktia perhaps move overland to Gulf of Finland, through Baltic and West Europe to West Africa (mainly Banc d´Arguin, Mauritania) and South Africa; Taymyr population presumably halts in West Europe; North migration of both groups along same route, many also stopping over in West France; birds from New Siberian Is probably move down East coast of Asia to Australasia. Most rufa cross West Atlantic from Northeast North America to coast of the Guianas, whereafter most continue to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego; birds wintering in Florida traditionally ascribed to this race, but probably referable to roselaari; on way N, most birds stage at Delaware Bay. Race rogersi may perform loop migration to Australasia, moving South non-stop across West Pacific, via Sea of Okhotsk, and down East Asian coast (Shanghai and Korea); arrives in North Australia from late Aug, in New Zealand arrives from late Sept and departs late Mar to early Apr; possibly flies non-stop from Northwest & Southeast Australia to Southeast China. Migration route of roselaari not clear, but assumed to winter in West Florida, South Panama and North Venezuela. Adults depart breeding grounds before young. Degree of site fidelity to wintering grounds unclear. Many immatures remain in winter quarters all year.